Nutrition and DietButter and margarine: which is healthier?

Butter and margarine: which is healthier?

If you’ve ever wondered whether or not butter is healthier than margarine, in this article we analyze and discover which the healthiest choice is. It will surely surprise you

Every day we can see on television and on the Internet a great diversity of advertisements about margarine, a food product created in order to replace butter, being sold that – apparently – is supposed to be a healthier food than this because supposedly its fat content is lower. That is, it is common for margarine to be sold as a healthy alternative to butter. Something that began to spread especially a few decades ago, when it was believed that margarine was the “light” option.

But did you know that, in reality, the amount of fat found in margarine and butter is practically the same? Around 80% by weight, to a greater or lesser extent. However, it is true that we must clearly differentiate between the types of fat that we find in both products. And it is that while butter has saturated fats (which increase blood fat levels), margarine has Trans fats (which, as we have already mentioned on many occasions, is even worse than saturated fats).

These Trans fats are difficult to metabolize by our body, so that they tend to fix in the different fatty tissues and lipid accumulations. Furthermore, margarine is known to release large amounts of furans and acrylamides. Both are compounds that are in constant study and research, which warn that they are toxic substances that, among other things, could increase the risk of cancer, in addition to affecting both liver and kidney health.

Therefore, we come to a more than obvious question: why is it trying to sell that margarine is healthier than butter, when in fact the former contains Trans fatty acids, which are much more harmful to our health than fats saturated that we do find in the second?

Far from creating alarm, we must warn that, today, many of the margarines sold today have eliminated Tran’s fats, using a kind of mixture of fully hydrogenated vegetable fats and oil. But that doesn’t mean ordinary margarines still contain them. And returning again to the new generation margarines, the ‘soft margarines’ stand out precisely for being low in fat, and for not containing trans-fat, with a lower content of saturated fat and a higher proportion of unsaturated fat.

Therefore, the conclusion is clear: if you have to choose between butter and regular margarine, the best thing to do is choose butter. But if you can choose between butter and soft margarines that are low in fat and without trans-fat, obviously the better choice would be the latter.

But if we seek to take care of our health and choose healthy fats, the most appropriate from a nutritional point of view is to eliminate both butter and margarine from our diet, and use only extra virgin olive oil daily and in small quantities.


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